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Preview: Oilers at Blues

St. Louis moves on after trade of Kevin Shattenkirk; Edmonton juggles lineup

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

OILERS (33-22-8) at BLUES (31-25-5)

8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, SNW, NHL.TV


Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers will make two changes in their lineup when they end a season-long six-game trip. The Oilers, who have lost two straight and are 5-7-1 in their past 13 games, will insert forward Anton Slepyshev and defenseman Eric Gryba in place of forward Drake Caggiula and defenseman Matt Benning. Edmonton is tied in points with the Anaheim Ducks for second place in the Pacific Division; Anaheim has one more regulation plus overtime win. "We've got to get some other bodies going and we haven't won enough games lately," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "Drake hasn't produced at the level we need him to produce; he's had many opportunities, but he hasn't finished. It's been a long time since he's had to watch the game from up top, and maybe that will help him a little bit understanding the space and time he may or may not have on the ice … and we'd like to add a smarter penalty killer into the mix in [Gryba], so simple as that." Caggiula has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 45 games this season and Benning has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 49 games. Goaltender Cam Talbot will start for the 14th time in 15 games and 57th time in 64 games this season.

Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues begin life without defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk on Tuesday after trading him and goaltender Pheonix Copley to the Washington Capitals for forwards Zach Sanford and Brad Malone, a first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and conditional draft picks. "It was a difficult decision," Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Tuesday. "Kevin has been a big part of our success over the last seven years. Not only on the ice, but off the ice. I have a lot of respect for Kevin, not only as a player, but as a person. … We are not in the business of trading good players for prospects when your team has a chance to win the [Stanley] Cup. This team now has to get in on its own. It's going to be more difficult, but if we get in, you always have a chance to win." The Blues hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference; they have a two-point lead on the Los Angeles Kings with one game in hand. "For me, it happens all the time," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "We lost [forward] Robby [Fabbri] and we got right back to work. It happens with injuries, it happens to all teams. There's no excuses in our locker room. Again, it's a good player and popular teammate, but it doesn't change our expectations. And it doesn't change our mindset, so we just get ready for the game." The Blues are 7-4-0 under Yeo but have lost three straight following a six-game winning streak. Goaltender Jake Allen will start. 


Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Anton Slepyshev -- Mark Letestu -- Zack Kassian 

Matt Hendricks -- Jujhar Khaira -- Iiro Pakarinen

Darnell Nurse -- Eric Gryba

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula, Brandon Davidson

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder)


Blues projected lineup

Alexander Steen -- Paul Stastny -- Magnus Paajarvi

Jaden Schwartz -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Patrik Berglund -- David Perron

Ivan Barbashev -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Scottie Upshall, Nail Yakupov

Injured: Robby Fabbri (knee)


Status report

Reaves will play after blocking a shot in the Blues' 4-2 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday; he missed practice on Monday. ... Bortuzzo and Gunnarsson have alternated games over the past eight, but will play together Tuesday after the Shattenkirk trade. … Sanford was scheduled to arrive in St. Louis on Tuesday but will not play.


Who's hot

McDavid has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his past eight games. … Klefbom has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past seven games. … Draisaitl has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past seven games. … Tarasenko has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 13 career games against the Oilers. 

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